On a cloudy Sunday afternoon, I took a walk around town for the sake of fresh air and exploration. In my meanderings I happened to cross a railroad spur where some rolling stock was parked and made a few images.
Spending a cold and cloudy Saturday trying to declutter, I came across a couple of antique photographs I’d nearly forgotten about. Lost in stacks of documents, the two pictures represent points of history, my family’s history (apparently), in Ohio and in Arkansas! On the back of the mounted “Mother Guilford” photo is the handwritten inscription: “this is Mother Guilford’s bro. John + wife at their home in War Eagle. Ark. Benton Co.” I didn’t know I had relatives in Arkansas but it looks like quite a family in this picture, filling the front porch!
The second image, labeled “Big Locust Farm” was taken April 15, 1903, according to a handwritten note. The printed label reads, “Big Locust Farm, Capt. J.J. Waffle, R.F.D., No. 3 / Delta, O. / Phone — Via Wauseon 5 rings on Winameg line.” I don’t know if Capt. Waffle was any relation to me nor do I know if he was the subject of the photo (with two other folks) or the photographer! Capt. Waffle would be a good name for a kids’ sweetened breakfast food.
So far these are the most valuable artifacts I’ve uncovered in my efforts this day. Mostly, I uncovered dust.
I spent a happy, lazy morning watching a thunderhead bloom and disperse from the shores of Lake Erie. I’d seen a very photogenic cloud developing over my area earlier in the day but was not in a position to get a good shot — we’re at a high elevation here but there are obstructions everywhere blocking the view! So after grocery shopping I headed for the lakefront. As I drew closer to the lake, I could see there was an interesting cloud blowing up in the distance. Fortunately, the far away storm developed slowly, allowing me to reach the lake and even change location. I started out in Bay Village, and finished my vigil on the fishing pier in Avon Lake. As the storm began to weaken, it stretched out over the water and even developed a halo! Checking weather radar I learned the storm was all the way across Lake Erie on the southern shores of Canada! A pleasant morning of cloud watching indeed and why not, it’s Saturday, after all!
I thought fall foliage color hit peak a week or so ago but this is an extended season. Even after recent winds and rains there are plenty of colorful leaf-covered trees catching today’s sunshine. It figures, I’m stuck indoors today. I did, however, sneak out long enough to shoot a couple of photos.
We had a lovely time Sunday exploring the little town of Milan, Ohio. Milan’s claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of inventor Thomas A. Edison. The American icon spent the first six years of his life in Milan and maintained a lifelong fondness for the place. We purchased tickets and received an informative and personal guided tour of the residence. She Who Must Be Obeyed carried her camera and shot enough photos of the objects in the house that her collection could serve inventory purposes! I carried my iPod Touch and shot only one space — the light coming in through a tiny, narrow dormer on the second floor. We toured the grounds on our own and then walked around the village square. I shot quite a few scenes of old buildings and the like and it would be worthwhile returning one day to do some more. My favorite shot of the day, however, was of the wall and window of a garden shed. The wall was a velvet red and the contrasting white window frame and mullions showed signs of their age.
The weather was splendid today, if slightly cool for August in Northeastern Ohio. We took a little jaunt down to the Ira Road area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to walk the wetlands boardwalk portion of the Towpath Trail. It wasn’t long before we spotted the first, and boldest, of three Great Blue Herons. This big guy was perfectly happy to stand in the shallow waters of the abandoned canal stalking prey as we watched from the nearby trail. I’ve a wonderful set of shots of the big bird staring, preening, and yawning. This closeup, however, is my favorite and possibly my prettiest shot of a heron yet.
The heron was, however, all about making a living and we as we watched it spotted something between the lily pads and, with lightning speed, struck at its prey full-force. Whatever the would-be lunch was, it got away this time, leaving the heron thrashing in the water, even appearing embarrassed as it flapped up to a log to shake off water and shame.
Within sight of the big bird I thought I saw something much smaller and less familiar but I wasn’t sure. Was it an upturned lily pad or, yes (!), a Green Heron! Typically skittish I fully expected the little thing to rocket skyward as I approached on the trail. Like it’s giant cousin, however, the Green wasn’t shy and went about its business with us watching. It had been about two years since I’d last seen a Green Heron and this was a welcome sight.
It was a great day (and photographically productive) in the soft sunlight and fresh air spent stalking the stalkers!
It was a beautiful Sunday with partly-cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60s so we set off to explore a place new to us: Liberty Park, a Summit County MetroPark in Twinsburg. Our favorite area was the Twinsburg Ledges and its woodland trail. The gravel path took us deep into the dark woods amongst tall trees, low ferns, and moss-covered rocks. There were many beautiful sights along the way but a standout was a cave, of sorts.
A short spur trail leads visitors to Glacier Cave which is not so much a cave as a deep opening in a rock wall. Cave or not, the exposed rock face was fascinating: strong striations run across the conglomerate rock, tree-filtered sunlight accentuating the textures. Inside the crevasse and looking up, one can see soft light penetrating the open space, caressing moss-covered, sculpted rock. At the bottom of the shaft was a beautiful opening where light, tinted green by tree leaves, bounced off red rocks, illuminating an already-colorful wall.
We will return, hopefully soon, to Liberty Park. Armed with tripods and plenty of mosquito repellant, we will be better prepared to spend time and make even better images.